The Russian-speaking hackers behind the latest ransomware attack that has hit thousands of businesses around the world have run into a little hiccup: The sites they use to extort victims for money were down Tuesday. The apparent outage may be welcome news for victims of their ransomware spree, which laced its way to businesses through Kaseya computer software earlier this month. But it is too soon to tell if the U.S. government or allies were behind the disruption.
The outage comes just days after the Biden administration warned Moscow that if Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t take action to punish cybercriminals operating from within Russia’s borders, the U.S. government would take matters into its own hands. President Joe Biden has previously suggested that a retaliatory cyberattack against cybercriminals could be appropriate. But it’s unclear if the U.S. has stepped in—the Pentagon’s offensive hacking arm declined to comment for this story. The FBI didn’t immediately return a request to comment. And ransomware hackers frequently go offline and then bounce back with a rebrand, which could very well be happening now. It’s also possible that the hacking group, known as REVil, has run into some hardware issues or other internal strife in the face of unwanted attention.